The project background is an important part of every proposal. It can be very similar to the project rationale or the project justification. In a way, it describes the history of how you developed the idea for your project and the status quo that you want to change. Normally, a proposal either has a project background, a project justification or a project rationale, as they cover similar topics.
The project background will always be at the beginning of your proposal, right after the introduction or executive summary. This is the part of the proposal where you explain exactly why your project should take place in your community and what the problem is you aim to solve. It is important to be very clear and precise in this part to grab the donor´s attention. Take this chance to make a strong case for your project!
What should be included in the project background?
The project background should include information about the reasoning why you want to implement this specific project in this specific location in this specific manner. It has to explain the current situation and its problems and the way in which you want to solve these problems. These explanations and assumptions should be backed up by reliable data. If you are able to convince the donor of the urgency of your project, you have much better chance of winning the grant.
Where can you find data for your project background?
When writing the project background, it is very important that it is based on verifiable information. You need statistics and data to base your assumptions on. You want to give a brief overview of the current situation. Make sure to only use data from sources that are reliable. Most countries share statistics about their population, housing, and other indicators online. Other reliable sources can be the UN, the World Bank and other big organizations. Do not take data for your project background from very small sources, even if it fits your purpose perfectly.
Always state where you found the data that you are using. Make sure it is relevant to your project and not just random. You do not want to lose focus in this section of your proposal.
If possible, also use specific data from your community. You can draw this data from the former project, the baseline study you set up before starting your work or surveys and interviews. Again, the more concrete and verifiable information about your community you can offer the donor, the more likely it is that they will like your proposal.